Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Complete Zombies Vs. Robots by Chris Ryall

Complete Zombies Vs. Robots by Chris Ryall and Ashley Wood

Just a little note--this isn't really the complete series. After this book's publication, a couple of other comic series based on the same storyline have run in individual issues.

ZPAA rating

Adults only

Gore level

7 out of 10--Lots of dessicated and disgusting zombies; rolling/flying/falling body parts; skewered bodies; the zombies have really bad teeth.

Other offensive content

Lots of violence, i.e. killing zombies; bad attitudes by humans and robots (I guess with zombies that's a given); the Amazons are often topless, sometimes bottomless (though you only see backsides), and always female; lots of bad language including f-bombs; fairly cynical attitudes; a lesbian orgy scene (later parodied as a zombie lesbian orgy scene with biting replacing the kissing).

How much zombie mythology/content

The zombie virus is brought back from the future. They are classical zombies, wanting flesh and especially brains to eat. They don't seem to be particularly fast but there are hordes of them. The Amazons are the mythological type and have some Greek mythology in their part of the story.

How much fun

An absurd, satirical sense of humor pervades the book. Some bits are funny than others. Anyone who's read Knuffle Bunny will laugh when a zombie says, "Aggl flaggle klabble!"

Synopsis & Review

A trio of scientists (whose enormous egos keep rubbing the others the wrong way) use their government grant to build a trans-dimensional gateway that leads to the future. They bicker over who should go first. The first guy to go dies; the second guy takes a billion dollar suit and makes it back, unintentionally bringing the zombie virus that's wiped out future humanity. Said virus proceeds to wipe out present humanity. Luckily, one of the scientists is a roboticist and has built a large variety of bots who carry on in the absence of their creators. The bots wind up caring for the lone human survivor, a female baby named Lucy.

A later complication arises when it's discovered (after a lone robot wipes out the earth with nukes) that a tribe of Amazonian women are still around on a deserted island somewhere that didn't get nuked. They team up with the lone robot and have a go at stopping the zombies (who survived by being underwater when the bombs dropped) from re-propogating the zombie species with formerly living Amazonians.

The story is more interesting at the beginning but eventually dives into a darkly comic shoot-em-up between a war-bot and the zombies. The scientists with the overinflated senses of self were more interesting and made better satire than the slow march to eventual human obliteration in the rest of the first half of the book. The Zombies vs Robots vs Amazons part of the book came off like exploitation genre pulp and left a bad taste in my mouth. At least the zombie minotaur was pretty cool. I'm not sure who I would recommend this book to and I probably won't reread it. It's a shame because it seems like an awesome premise.

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